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“Rustic room, great location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nyota Beach Bungalows

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Nyota Beach Bungalows
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P.O. Box 93, Mahonda, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
leeds
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
195 hotel reviews
Reviews in 165 cities Reviews in 165 cities
191 helpful votes 191 helpful votes
“Rustic room, great location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2009

We found the hotel by accident-- we arrived at Matemwe looking for somewhere to stay and had a choice of a left or right turn in the village. We turned right and were quoted some exorbitant prices along to beach so ended up at Nyota Bungalows which is at the far end of the beach.

We had a top floor bungalow which gave a view of the sea. The room was clean and decorated in rustic style with a zebra skin bed cover. The room was small, had no A/C but had a fan above the bed which kept you cool enough while sleeping.

The hotel is right on a beautiful beach and the grounds are covered in fine white sand so you really can forget your shoes for your whole stay. The bar/restaurant is similarly rustic, and was nicely atmospheric for an evening meal by candle light. Prices are quite expensive though--drinks are around double what you pay at Azanzi at the other end of Matemwe beach.

We liked the hotel and felt the price was ok for the room. One criticism is that the room is quite dimly lit so is quite dark on a night though this does add to the atmosphere. The management, particularly Emanuel, were very friendly and helpful and the guy behind the bar spoke perfect English and we were happy with service and standard of food.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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38 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2009

WE stayed at Nyota for a week, 15th-22nd Feb 2009 to attend a wedding at Mtemwe Beach Bungalow ( 20 minute walk along the beach). Family with two children, one aged 6 years and the other 6 months. $50 taxi ride from the airport (airconditioned). Stayed in a family room which has 3 double beds in one room with seperate bathroom ( shower only which hardly worked). Basic amienities, no need to take towels. Situated right on the beach (non swimming , can wade) only 10 bungalows to the whole of Nyota so very quiet. NO swimming pool which would of helped alot. Had the odd power failure but this did not last long. Drinks are limited, beers $2, large water $1. Food can be expensive and is limited. Fish of the day is not bad at only $3. Did eat at Mntemwe, not bad, and also Azanzi (further down) which I would recommend. If you are looking for a quiet place to go, rustic, away from the normal tourist spots then yes go to Nyota, dont expect much but it is a very relaxing place. Tall, the barman is extremely helpful and Emanual the manager can arrange anything for you.
Tips- Haggle with any purchase you make, at least 75% off
Take a trip up to Nungwi, good swimming beach, restaurants
Snokel with a local , cheaper.
Customs at airport is very relaxed , take precautions if you so desire but was never asked for any certificates etc

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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crissolo
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2009

we stayed in nyota on twenty nineth january on a holiday breakaway we stayed on a sea view room which was comfortable and clean its worth the price the beach was stunning with clean whitesand u enjoy laying on the beach watching the villager go about their daily routine of harvesting sea weed fishermen on bicycles.
as for the drinks and food they have fair price and they are fresh and the premises have different activities they organise we tried snorkeling at mnemba and were not late to swim with dolfins this fulfilled my stay at zanzibar wish all the best to nyota team.

  • Liked — cordiality of manager, and the staff.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2009

Staying at Nyota was very pleasant apart from the kitchen service food which varied from average to dull/bad.

This confused us a little bit in the light of some old reviews which praised the food, however the original owners sold out their shares.

Janet the receptionist was very helpful and professional. In fact all the staff were great apart from one rather grumpy waiter (I guess he had his reasons). The gardens were a lush and relaxing little barefoot eden unlike the formal but rather sparse and dull gardens/ of the matemwe beach bungalows or the sterile decking of the Fairmont resort.

A word on the Fairmont. They have 3 or 4 uniformedsecurity guards standing stiffly on the beach guarding the sunburned tourists from...what exactly?? Swahili ladies collecting seaweed in the coral lagoon?? Very over the top and spoils the atmosphere of a relaxing swahili fishing village.

We didnt eat at the Fairmont. Looking at the ridiculous circus of security guards and sunbathers would have given me indigestion anyway.

We did however seek relief from Nyotas dull food by trekking up the beach to Azanzi, a new South African resort (Fairmont style but without the uniformed goons). Excellent 3 course meal for $10 and powerful cocktails for $2.80!! (Nyotas were $6 or $7 and not as good). Expect Azanzi to get more expensive. They had only been open 4 weeks and were offering cheap hospitality as a loss leader while they built up custom I suspect.

I hope Frederico Genovese (New Nyota Manager) gets his act together re kitchen service and food.

Until then my advice is stay at Nyota its beautiful. Eat at Fairmont or Azanzi when you can to escape the monotony of Nyota's menu.

  • Liked — The Gardens
  • Disliked — The Food/Kitchen Service
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Toronto
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

Apart from their plush beach towels, Nyota has little to offer compared to some of the other properties on Zanzibar island. The bungalows are dark and dingy. A beach view villa offers a teeny glimpse of the water and no more. The bathrooms are some of the worst designed. We had the chance to try two different bungalows... the one holding three adults was definitely nicer than the one for two, but neither were worth the $65-80 we paid per night. Electricity oftens shuts down but this is common across the island so I won't blame Nyota for this. However, poor water supply is not as common across the island but Nyota experienced this as well. The restaurant is grossly overpriced (I cannot stress this enough). I suggest customers make the ten-minute beach walk south to the neighbouring Zanzibar Fairmont Hotel and eat a glorious feast for the exact same cost... in fact, drinks at the Fairmont are cheaper! We travelled around Zanzibar for three weeks and stayed at some fantastic small hotels in a similar price range. Nyota, unfortunately, did not make its mark.

  • Liked — beach towels and close proximity to the beach
  • Disliked — terrible rooms, especially for the price charged
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Mahonda hotels

London
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2008

The location of the resort is splendid on a long white sandy beach which is almost empty as the eye can see except for a few locals. Like on most of zanzibar the local seaweed farming makes swimming diffcult unless the tide is up.

Having said that we did have some problems with Nyota:
1)No hot water - due to a powercut on the island (the previous resort had a generator to overcome this)
2)Dodgy plumbing - i took a (cold) shower for about 5 minutes and the blocked drain meant that the entire bathroom was quickly filled and water escaped into the beroom
3)Cockroach friend - prior to the shower above I pulled across the shower curtain and was greeted by huge cockroach which made our stay an unlikely menage-a-trois.
4)The staff were helpful in offering us another room to fix problems 1-3 but on closer inspection we found another, slightly smaller and deceased cockroach.

We made a decision to cut our 6 night stay to 2 nights and moved up the coast to Nungwi. The staff at Nyota understood our complaint and refunded our money.

I think that Nyota could have been a great place to stay given its location etc but the rooms need a REAL good clean!

  • Disliked — Cockroach
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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NYC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

Agreed with the previous post - this may be good for backpackers. For a honeymoon, it really let us down.

Pros:
We had the seaview room, and the view was phenomenal. The deck in front of the room was a comfortable place to sit and watch the sunrise and the moon come up. The room was large and clean. The price was $80 per night, including breakfast. When the electricity goes out, you can actually sleep past 5am without being awakened (even if wearing earplugs) by the call to prayer over the PA system on the roof of the mosque next door.

Cons:
Main con: the bathroom was disgusting. The shower was covered in black mold. Including the floor of it - you wouldn't want to get in without flipflops. The bathroom in general was very dark, perhaps to disguise the mold. A bucket and mop is left in the bathroom - in case we wanted to clean the mold? The staff were not unfriendly, but nor were they as charming as the hotels and guesthouses on either side of Nyota. Combined with the high prices for very basic food, that left us walking up and down the beach to different resorts each day for lunch and dinner. (How can an establishment owned by Italians have subpar food? Even the pasta was unimaginative.) When the electricity goes out on the island, which it seems to do often, Nyota has no generator. So no cold drinks. But worse- no fan running in the rooms. Call to prayer, as mentioned above, goes out twice between 5 and 6am extremely loudly (you can hear it even if sleeping with earplugs). Fair enough since Islam is the main religion on the island. But you might want to reconsider staying at a place right next to the village loudspeaker!

Recommendations:
For $40 more per night ($120 per night including breakfast and 3 course dinner), stay a bit up the beach at Matemwe Beach Village. This resort also has a fabulous pool and excellent dive centre.

Eat lunch at the Fairmont next door and they'll let you use their two gorgeous pools. Same with Matemwe Beach Village. Both are less expensive for lunch with more choice and better food than Nyota.

The best meal we had in Matemwe was at the bar of the little beach bungalows immediately next to Matemwe Beach Village. The fish was outstanding - exactly what you'd expect from all food on an island! Caught fresh that day, prepared with spices and lemon, served with fresh vegetables and potatoes. Wish we could remember the name of this little guesthouse because it had such a great feel and we'd love to recommend it. Lovely bar and super friendly owner.

Do NOT choose Nyota for your honeymoon. While the scenery is beautiful, the vibe from the Nyota is not good and the grossness of the bathroom and the subpar food make for a less than romantic experience.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — moldy dank dark bathroom
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Additional Information about Nyota Beach Bungalows

Address: P.O. Box 93, Mahonda, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Mahonda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nyota Beach Bungalows is a small ambient resort located near the quiet village of Matemwe on the North-Eastern coast of Zanzibar. Set on an idyllic 5 km long white-sand palm-fringed beach, cooled by an Indian Ocean breeze, it offers a wonderful relaxing stay in Paradise. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Nyota Beach Bungalows Hotel Mahonda
Nyota Beach Hotel
Nyota Beach Bungalows Zanzibar, Tanzania

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